Our anonymous benefactor strikes again! After translating those awesome liner notes on Yukueshirezutsurezure’s Post-Catastrophe album, he provided some additional very topical translation that paints a very interesting picture of how we got to where we are today with Codomomental and Zenbu Kimi no Sei Da.
Seriously, friend, you’re doing a tremendous service to us
After the tumult of the past couple of weeks, this look back (about a year, in fact) to this blog post on the Codomomental website tells a vivid story. How is it that a video production company turned out some of the most compelling stuff in idol? Who were the movers? Who, and what, inspired them? Guess you’ll have to read the whole thing.
Hello, It’s Codomomental (W). It’s late.
Today, I’m going to write about this thing called Zenbu kimi no sei da (Everything is your fault). I probably won’t be able to write something like this for a while, so people with time please read this. I probably won’t write anything like this anymore in my lifetime.
Zenbu Kimi no Sei da.
Zenbu Kimi no Sei Da is a idol unit that is based on the visual concept of YamiKawaii. The beginning can be traced to March 2015, when I had a small discussion with Yoneyama (photographer of Codomomental)
W “Say, you don’t like Idols, do you?”
A “Yes, I do.”
W “Lately, everyone has been IdolIdol so why don’t we give it a try?”
A “Are you serious?”
A “..That makes me happy”
W “I hate halfassing things, so let’s do this Super Seriously”
The discussion went something like that. Deciding on the name, Zenbu Kimi no Sei da, took us only 1 minute. Isn’t this good, we said. Isn’t it cute, pushing the responsibility to others type of feel, we said. The concept, well people who’ve known Codomomental previously know, but it’s based on our usual concept of darkness. We’ve done “Darkstyle” type of works since we begun. It’s always been like that.
And using that concept, we decided to make our idols “yamikawaii”, darkly cute.
“We should probably do auditions” was the feeling and in 5 minutes, we put our announcements online. We didn’t have any promotional materials or concept art, so I had Yoneyama drawup something that would be our main header art.
During my normal managerial duties, I checked the audition applications. I was surprised, there were so many applications. In this world of ours, there are so many who want to be idols.
With this, I asked Kisaragi (Megumi), “Wouldn’t you want to try being an idol?”. She originally joined as as an aspiring actress. That was a vastly different direction from the world of idols.
“If I can help Codomomental, I’ll do anything”. That’s what Kisaragi said. If she hadn’t said that, ZenKimi wouldn’t come into existence. Why? BecauseShe’s a person who gives her 100% .. no, 200%. Because She’s given her all to our previous projects.
Because She’s a person who trusts me and Syam and Yoneyama. Because She’s a person who loves this small group we call Codomomental.
Then I met Gomochi. “I want to join you”, she said. I, or rather We, responded that “We’re a small company and I’m mostly in charge of everything we do here. It’s not that we don’t want people to join us, It’s that I want to our work to have meaning. This group was founded for doing projects me and syam want to do. Even if there would be a lot of things others want to do, I am the one who will be in charge. We have the camera specialist Yoneyama, The Wonderfully skilled Syam who does our video work, The beautiful design that’s done by Tanahashi and Syam. However, I am in charge of the direction of all our productions. Management, no one else but me wants to do that. Operational duties, business duties too.
That’s the reason why I didn’t want to hire many people, that was the idea even from the beginning. I was a bit lost on what to do with Gomochi. But then, with wide open mind, I said “If you can do idols, I will manage it too”. She nodded her head up and down. I wonder if Gomochi was happy at that moment.
With that, I proceeded with the auditions with various weird and unpleasant feelings. I had mostly worked on music, so this was new for a person who hadn’t listened to idols or what have you previously. Well, I had heard some J-Pop in the past but that’s the amount of my knowledge. Yoneyama, on the other hand, was more knowledgeable and had listened to a lot of them compared to me. Well, whatever, I thought. It doesn’t matter. This idol is from that group or this group is called this, I don’t really care. That is because we didn’t want to have anyone else decided what kind of image we wanted there to be.
During this time, I also realized the problems with feeling out of place and the unpleasantness of the situation. There were so many people who instead of expressing through music, just wanted to be idols. I was shocked at this widely accepted notion about idols. I don’t want to do music, I want to be an idol. Oh well.. I see. I thought people would become idols so they could seriously work with music.
As the auditions proceeded, I met with an interesting girl. That girl was Mashiro. She had a degree of invisibility to her, but she also wasn’t showing her true feelings. That was the type of personality she showed. The inexperienced worldview of a young person, the cunningness of an adult, the outlook of a man, the wiseness of a woman. Those were the traits she posessed.
Maybe it was my rebellious nature, but I made some extremely unreasonable demands and conditions during the auditions. Hearing those, no matter what it was, Mashiro straightly said: “I’m fine with that.”.
Me, who had no interest in the reigning notion of and “idol”, found great interest in Mashiro’s love for music and her way of losing herself into her delusions. Out of the many people, Mashiro was the first one that we immediately decided on accepting. Mashiro made so many changes to her life and her circumstances so she could fully delve into ZenKimi.
Writing like this really brings out the “Chosen One” feeling, but it really was Mashiro. That is a thing i want to be not forgotten. Those who applied to many agencies and labels sure could’ve glowed brightly. But those who didn’t apply to anywhere else but us, would afterall be the chosen ones. Our company is a sensible one, I think. I wonder if a saw a creation of a new world view.
In the last auditions, Aza was there.
She was a girl who applied in the last moments of the audition application period. She had her flashy hair even before she even took an audition. After Aza had shown her singing and dancing skills, syam said: “that girl is good”. I thought so too, so did Yoneyama. Like Mashiro before her, when we asked her some private questions (like what she has done in her life before this moment and so on), se would cheerfully answer those. Even if she would first giggle at the questions, she could answer in a good way. Aza’s acceptance was also decided in an instant. Well, she did say “I have a pretty interesting personality!” when we first met her. We laughed at that a lot.
When we first decided on the name of Mogeki Aza, we wondered if she would understand. “Ah.. I see, haha.”, she said. (The two characters of azas name are read as a cross, as in a christian cross).
I don’t want to blabber too much so I’ll save the talk about Asuna for the last.
And then we have the last curent member, Yotsu.
ZenKimi released their first digital single, NeoJealous MeloChaos, on July 8th 2015. At that time, the member named Hitomi Yotsu didn’t exist. We met Yotsu during the New Member auditions, i think it was september. During these auditions too, a lot of people applied, but from these auditions only Yotsu was selected.
Originally she met with me and Yoneyama, but due to Yoneyama having other work duties, I was left with Yotsu alone. To say it bluntly, i was afraid (laugh). During auditions, I don’t really laugh (because I’m always watching diligently), I act strict (that’s normal for me) and I’m not really a civil person to begin with. I still found it interesting that Yotsu didn’t really mind that at all. She wasn’t surprised, and even if she was a bit nervous, she was honest and straightforward. During the usual thorough questioning, she answered straightly in her own personal way. And in the end, she said “I want to join ZenKimi” in a really confident manner.
Yotsu also had so different aspirations.
Asuna. When we said that you’ve been accepted as a member, she said “i’ll do my best.” And she really did. She came from a physically far place for us and she worked hard on the thing she wanted to do. She was very curious and she had a strong will when compared to her appearance. She was a girl who said her opinion when she wanted to. That’s why I wasn’t all that surprised, when she one day said “I want to focus on the thing I’m doing now, not on being an idol”.
But her fans wouldn’t necessarily understand, so I had her write a thorough comment so the fans wouldn’t feel betrayed. I bet she’s still working hard. I wish her all the best.
And Me and the company, said to the people who we’ve worked with and who we trust a lot, “please help us with ZenKimi”.
Those people were the costume maker NIGATSU (Naoyuki Tajim), Audio Engineer syva (as a songwriter too), songwriter Kazuki Mizutani and songwriter/bandleader Takahiro Hayashi, ALFF of Linka (Photography and studio and creative work and other things like that) and TAKA of LINKA who helped with our merchandise and Byou Chagawa who did our artwork. And of course to Gesshi who wrote all the lyrics.
Everyone who worked hard in their fields and who I had a lot of trust in, responded immediately in acceptance.
Two digital singles, two music videos, and one mix cd later, we move forward to our first one-man live on October 10th. And it’s sold out. I feel really thankful for that. With all their help, Village Vanguards online store and other music outlets helped us get our first live, our first oneman to be filled to capacity.
With that, we’ll add one more live-venue exclusive cd into our portfolio. After a few gigs, we’ll put out our 2nd MIX CD.
Zenbu Kimi no Sei da’s footprint is only “we do this now, because we can”. But if I change the words, it might change into “we can do things like this, too”. I don’t really know.
Today we announced our first full album to be released in january. I wonder if you liked that announcement. All the members tweeted out their personal feelings. I think it’s a good thing. Creating music and other works can’t really proceed if there weren’t people who would listen or watch the works. With that in mind, i proceed on with a thankful mind.
Finally, we are able to greet the whole world. “Hello everyone. We are Zenbu Kimi no Sei da”.
Really, girls who were nobodies became girls who released a full album. In just half a year. It’s all thanks to the yamikawaii army, the wazurai (sick people). No doubts about it. Thank you. From now onwards, we’ll only put out one version of the album. I think it’s ok that we don’t have a first press limited editions, or A versions or B versions or jackets with a different member on it. I might be wrong saying this, but it’s ok if it doesn’t sell that much. All that I truly wish is that it reaches people who would be interested in it and appreciate it. With this 1 CD, i hope people really recognize us and come see our gigs and maybe start cheering for us. And of course, i would like to meet them at gigs from now onwards.
Eh? So what is Zenbu Kimi no Sei da?
Oh, it’s idols or maybe it’s people doing music, people dancing and singing, people expressing themselves. Ah, whatever fits, I don’t care.
From now on, ZenKimi will act in the way of Zenkimi.